Matching a color when dyeing can be a daunting task so the purpose of this guide is to help beginner dyers learn how to create a color palette from a photograph and to extract color information from a photo to generate a corresponding dye formula. Please note that this guide doesn’t provide information on exact brands of dyes to use or amounts of each dye to use, it is more of a reference tool to use for creating color palettes.
First basic color theory is broken down so that even if you are a novice/beginner dyer you will feel comfortable creating a pleasing color palette. Then the guide explains how to extract color information from a digital picture and how to apply that to dye formulas.
The photographs pictured below show examples of wool that Alanna dyed trying to match the digital colors. Since there is a difference between the way a monitor mixes color (Red, Green, and Blue) versus a printer (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) it is advised that you print the color you are after on a calibrated printer for comparison purposes. This still might not be the exact color that appears when mixing colors, but it will give you a good place to start.
The photograph with the orange wool shows the digital color orange Alanna was trying to match on the bottom right, and the orange dyed wool is sitting on top of a piece of paper printed on a calibrated printer with that same color orange. The colors are extremely close on the first try.
There will be variations from monitor to monitor, so printing a color on a calibrated printer will give you a better idea of how close your colors will be. Also, each dye brand is different, so depending on the dye brand used, you might get a different color. For example, if you are trying to match the digital orange to the right and start with red and yellow you will get a very different color than when mixing magenta and yellow dye. If you are looking to get as close to as an exact match as possible on your first attempt, check out the Color Matching Acid Dye Formula page.
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